Leafs' power play comes to life in win over Avalanche

73 PTS5Final 123TTOR1315COL1012Colorado Avalanche

73 PTS5Final 123TTOR1315COL1012Colorado Avalanche

So apparently Nazem Kadri has the ability to predict the future. "I'm not a big backhand guy", Kapanen said.

The Toronto Maple Leafs had one powerful surge against Colorado, and it came from their re-energized power play.

Toronto broke things open in the second with three power-play goals over a 1:49 span to make it a 4-1 contest. "We wanted to eliminate that as much as possible".

The Leafs scored on three of their six power plays, and were fortunate to do so. 1, 2017. They have been outscored 35-16 in the streak.

The Leafs won for the fifth time in six games and remain in second place in the Atlantic Division - one point ahead of the Boston Bruins, who beat the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.

Auston Matthews got the party started in the second period, capitalizing on a beauty setup from John Tavares behind the net.

According to Hockey-Reference's game finder, it was the seventh time in 32 regular-season games that the Rangers allowed at least 50 shots and the first time they allowed 50 shots in a home win since January 13, 1993, against Washington. John Tavares passed through the goalmouth to Matthews in the lower left circle for his 99th National Hockey League goal. He scored eight as a rookie and had five last season.

The Maple Leafs stretched the lead to 3-1 at 6:46 on Kadri's power-play goal after Avalanche forward J.T. Compher was assessed a double-minor for high-sticking Travis Dermott.

Kapanen had a breakaway chance 28 seconds into the game, only to have his backhand attempted stopped by Varlamov's right pad. Semyon Varlamov gave up four goals on 17 shots before being pulled. In came Philipp Grubauer in relief. What's he going to do on the power play?

73 PTS5Final 123TTOR1315COL1012Colorado Avalanche
73 PTS5Final 123TTOR1315COL1012Colorado Avalanche

"It has been a while for sure", Kapanen said. "Their top line is where they get most of their production".

The Leafs finished 3-of-6 on the power play and 3-for-3 in penalty killing. "It was great to see our guys be rewarded".

"We got structure, we got scheme. We weren't doing good things and when you don't do good things, good things don't happen". I thought that [Varlamov] looked really good too.

It was the fourth time this season Toronto has scored three power-play goals in a game and first since December 20.

"It's about time", said Matthews, who had three points.

Bad luck continued for the Avs in the third period, as Kadri tallied his second goal of the game to give the Leafs the 5-1 lead.

Alex Kerfoot scored at 8:14 of the third for Colorado.

The teams were tied 1-1 after the first period. Kapanen flipped a shot over Varlamov's glove. It was about the only thing Andersen didn't stop over the opening period.

Mika Zibanejad and Jimmy Vesey scored in the first period for the Rangers, who snapped a four-game losing streak to Toronto. Trying to make little adjustments, talking amongst the five of us and trying to draw up little plays that possibly could work. In response, Babcock chose to shuffle his defensive pairings, shifting Morgan Rielly back to the left side, after playing mostly on the right since the acquisition of Jake Muzzin from Los Angeles. We think he provides way more offence, way more shots and he is a better player over there. They're seam passes to quick spots on and off the guys' tapes. I had talked to Muzz about it earlier anyway. "For a while tonight it was going badly".

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